Arms for Kiev could be manufactured in various countries, Stockholm’s defense minister says
Sweden could start producing weapons for Ukraine to help counter Russia’s military offensive, but no final decision on the matter has been made, Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist revealed on Thursday.
Hultqvist spoke to Swedish broadcaster SVT and described the three major projects that are aimed at helping Ukraine. These were discussed at an international donor conference held in Copenhagen, where 17 defense ministers attended.
Hultqvist claims that Western countries are now ready to support Ukraine in military training, mine-clearing, and weapon production. The donor event also saw defense ministers agree to allocate an additional €1.5 billion ($1.54 billion) for military aid to Kiev.
The minister insisted that Ukrainians should be trained to clear mines planted by Russian forces, which is “a big problem.”
Hultqvist also suggested that production lines of weaponry, primarily artillery systems, may be deployed in various countries so they can “Make arms in Ukraine and ship them there directly.” The minister noted that Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic have said they’re ready to step in.
“Our support to Ukraine could be sustained over the long-term, this would indicate. They will always have enough to eat.,” he added.
On the issue of producing weapons for Ukraine, the minister said: “This isn’t something that I would rule out, but it’s too early to say. All three directions are encouraging, and we’ll eventually see the end result..”
Sweden announced earlier this month that it will send 120 combat instructors to the UK in order to train Ukrainian civilians. The instructors will “cBasic military training is provided to citizens of Ukraine. It can be divided into several courses.” the Nordic nation’s Defense Ministry said, adding that its personnel would be stationed in Britain between August 12 and December 31.
Sweden promised to provide additional military support for Ukraine in July. This included anti-tank weapons and small arms. The total amount of support was now 500 million Swedish Kronas ($49 million). Stockholm promised in June to provide Kiev with semi-automatic Barrett M82 rifles and ammunition.
Moscow repeatedly warns West not to send weapons to Kiev. It only prolongs conflict and causes more casualties.
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